Comments: Wikia and "GamePro" Advertising Deal

Advertising corrupts Wikipedia (the name/host - not the work), and lessens its value compared to an equivalent without advertising.

This is asset stripping the goodwill of Wikipedia. It does not extract labour from the public.

The public simply forks Wikipedia and creates a version without advertising. Wikipedia continues, but steadily loses audience to AdFreepedia.

AdFreepedia remains the public work that the public laboured to produce.

And so on, until a home can be found that isn't going to only host in exchange for the ability to asset strip the goodwill it builds up.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at August 3, 2008 07:43 AM

As a heavy contributor to the Transformers wiki, I'd just like to say thank you for the article. The Google point IS well-taken, and has been discussed (and we had actually thought of this before)... but ultimately, our plans are not changing... and THIS kind of thing is exactly the reason why, the kind of thing we've been dreading.

Back when Wikia first started to blindside and backpedal over their ads and placement and various changes, I and many others lost any reason to trust them, as it seemed clear they would capitulate to advertizers almost immediately. Wikia's "well, logged-in viewers won't get ads!" was a limp "there there" to try and placate the angry community with a short-term non-solution that appeals primarily to their sense of solipsism... which sadly seems to have worked. It doesn't matter if the pages are ruined and ad-riddled for 95% of the other people! Personally, I don't expect the ad-free-logins to last long, myself. And now, with this deal with GamePro... hopefully it will lead to some eyes being opened.

We're willing to stick it out there, and take our chances. We don't expect an easy time of it at first. We're making sure we've got as many ducks in a row as possible before the final move. Yeah, there exists the possibility it may fail. But better that than the near-certainty of an increasingly ad-bloated, content-kiped, steamroller-changes continuance at Wikia.

Posted by Greg Sepelak at August 4, 2008 04:18 PM

Seth, would you see any problem with running ads on Wikipedia and using the revenue to improve the site? D.

Posted by Delia at August 5, 2008 09:26 AM

Crosbie: It's more complicated than that, due to the Google effects I mention in my column

Greg: You're welcome. I'm glad to help out.

Delia: Nobody knows if that would alienate enough people so as to be a loser overall, and the top people don't want to risk it.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at August 5, 2008 08:48 PM

Also, if Wikipedia had a lot of revenue it would generate a class of people to fight over it.

Posted by Wes Felter at August 6, 2008 06:13 PM

Seth: I, personally, wouldn't mind it if it was verified that the money was used to improve the site, be it Wikipedia or any other site.

Wes: as long as it stays non-profit there wouldn't be what to fight for even if revenues are high (they would have to be used to improve the sie and such -- nobody could legally pocket them). D.


Posted by Delia at August 6, 2008 10:39 PM

Wes: Yes - money changes everything

Delia: But do you do a lot of free work for Wikipedia? Note there's ways of extracting money from a non-profit (like expensive dinners to meet with "potential funders" - or that's what one puts on the expense account :-) ).

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at August 7, 2008 01:24 AM

that's why I said if it were *verified* that the money was spent for that purpose -- you'd have to give the contributors easy access to that sort of information. D.

Posted by Delia at August 7, 2008 08:08 AM